Do we support drop shipping?
We're often asked whether our platform supports 'drop shipping'.
Drop shipping is quite a broad term that involves two aspects:
1. Automatically downloading products provided by your supplier into your store (and updating products periodically, e.g. for stock level changes)
2. Sending details of orders placed on your store onto your supplier
Unfortunately, one of the downsides of drop shipping is that there is no standard format for the data exchanged in either methods (1) or (2). Most drop shipping companies use their own unique formats for supplying product data and receiving order information.
Downloading/importing product information
Your drop shipping supplier will provide you with data for their products. Usually this will be in spreadsheet format (e.g. a CSV file) but occasionally they may supply the data to you in other formats to like an XML feed or they may ask you connect to their API.
If supplying data via a CSV, unfortunately it's likely that the format supplied by the drop shipper will not be compatible 'out of the box' with the format required for our own import/export system (which works with CSV files).
The data supplied will need to be transposed into the correct format for uploading into your account via our import system. This is achieved by downloading your import template (from your account) and copying and pasting the data from each column from the source CSV (supplied by the drop shipper) into the target CSV (for our own import system).
In most cases, this will be straightforward to complete but it is complicated if the products from the drop shipper come with different options like sizes or colours. If so, then you will manually need to amend the data to suit the requirements we have for variations.
Our team can assist you in transposing the data to perform an import. If you'd like us to then please contact us, including the files you have been supplied with, and we'll be able to provide you with a quote.
If your supplier does not have 'unlimited' stock of the items that you are selling, you may need to regularly perform stock updates on your products.
Our platform contains a stock update system which allows you to upload a spreadsheet containing two columns (SKU Code and Stock Quantity). You can find out more about our stock import system here.
Uploading a spreadsheet regularly might not be suitable for you though. You may prefer to completely automate the process. In which case, an app will need to be built that connects the data provided by the drop shipper and your account, working through APIs. Our platform has it's own API so any third party (including the drop shipper) can build a connection to it (to update stock levels for products) or alternatively we can build an app for you - please contact us for a quote.
Your supplier may add new products regularly or update product information regularly (such as product prices or descriptions). Unfortunately, automating the process so that your website reflects the changes from the supplier can be tricky.
An app will need to be built that connects the data from the supplier to the products on your website. We can build the app for you (please contact us for a quote).
Sending orders to your drop shipper
When an order is placed on your website, you'll most likely want to automate the process by which the details of the order (like the customer information and the products ordered) are sent to the drop shipper.
This process largely depends on how the drop shipper accepts this data. As with product data, unfortunately there's no industry standard for the format that drop shippers will accept order data in.
There are a number of free tools already available in your account to send order data to suppliers:
The order XML feed can be configured into any format required. The CSV feed and spreadsheet have a fixed format and cannot be altered.
You should check with your drop shipper if they can accept order information via XML (in which case the feed can be configured to their requirements) or whether they can accept order information in our CSV formats.
If they can't accept data in any of these formats, an app may need to be built that connects your drop shipper with your online store. We can built the app for you (please contact us for a quote), or alternatively the drop shipping company may be happy to do so.
Multiple drop shippers
Unfortunately the process gets more complicated if you have products from more than one drop shipper.
The problem is, segmenting which orders are sent to which drop shipping suppliers (particularly if a customer's order contains products from multiple drop shippers).
If you are using multiple drop shippers, using the XML feed or CSV methods of sending order data to your suppliers may not be suitable for you. We may need to build specific apps for each drop shipper - please contact us to discuss your requirements in more detail.
Our API is fully documented and available to any third party (including your drop shipping company) to build an app for.